The Heir of Redclyffe
But nature to its inmost part
Faith had refined; and to her heart
A peaceful cradle given,
Calm as the dew drops free to rest
Within a breeze-fanned rose's breast
Till it exhales to heaven.--WORDSWORTH
It had long been a promise that Mr. Edmonstone should take Charlotte to visit her
grandmamma, in Ireland. They would have gone last autumn, but for Guy's illness, and
now Aunt Charlotte wrote to hasten the performance of the project. Lady Mabel was very
anxious to see them, she said; and having grown much more infirm of late, seemed to
think it would be the last meeting with her son. She talked so much of Mrs. Edmonstone
and Laura, that it was plain that she wished extremely for a visit from them, though she
did not like to ask it, in the present state of the family.
A special invitation was sent to Bustle; indeed, Charles said Charlotte could not have
gone without his permission, for he reigned like a tyrant over her, evidently believing her
created for no purpose but to wait on him, and take him to walk.
Laura was a great favourite at the cottage of Kilcoran, and felt she ought to offer to go.
Philip fully agreed, and held out home hopes of following as soon as the session, was
over, and he had been to Redclyffe about some business that had been deferred too long.
And now it appeared that Mr. Edmonstone had a great desire to take his wife, and she
herself said, that under any other circumstances she should have been very desirous of
going. She had not been to Ireland for fifteen years, and was sorry to have seen so little of
her mother- in-law; and now that it had been proved that Charles could exist without her,
she would not have hesitated to leave him, but for Amabel's state of health and spirits,
which made going from home out of the question.
Charles and Amabel did not think so. It was not to be endured, that when grandmamma
wished for her, she should stay at home for them without real necessity; besides, the
fatigue, anxiety, and sorrow she had undergone of late, had told on her, and had made her
alter perceptibly, from being remarkably fresh and youthful, to be somewhat aged; and
the change to a new scene, where she could not be distressing herself at every failure in
cheerfulness of poor Amy's, was just the thing to do her good.
Amabel was not afraid of the sole charge of Charles or of the baby, for she had been
taught but too well to manage for herself, she understood Charles very well, and had too
much quiet good sense to be fanciful about her very healthy baby. Though she was
inexperienced, with old nurse hard by, and Dr. Mayerne at Broadstone, there was no fear
of her not having good counsel enough. She was glad to be of some use, by enabling her
mother to leave Charles, and her only fear was of being dull company for him; but as he